02 August 2012

The Pope of Greenwich Village & Going to the Street

He's not gonna give you up, Charlie. You're family.

Family, that fuckin' kid? We're third cousins.

Third cousins. For Italians. That's like twin brothers with the Irish.

When I saw 'The Pope of Greenwich Village' the opening, "Summer Wind" became a favorite song long before I figured Sinatra was over rated. It takes place in my NYC of the early '80s even though I was living in Philadelphia when I saw it. Sammy was a good friend from South Philly. He told me he wasn't very religious but wore a crucifix so no one would mistake him for being Jewish.

Sammy's mother was in her late eighties and Sammy was quick to point out she lived with him and he didn't live with her -- Even though it was her house. I never understood that. I didn't get the thick gauge plastic covering the living room furniture either.

I told Sammy about an apartment I found but was shy a month's rent of the three months I needed to move in. Sammy suggested I go to the street. "The what?" I asked.

"The street, John. They'll lend you the money. No questions. I borrow from them all the time."

"Sammy, are you saying what I want I think you're saying?"

"What am I saying?"

I look at Sammy and know exactly what he's saying.

"You say it's a nice place. You're only a month shy. A shame to lose it."

"Sammy, what if, for some wacky reason, I don't repay them in time?"

Sammy, who was fond of tone on tone white shirts and closed vent suits from Boyd's shakes his head,

"You don't want to think about that, John."

No, I didn't want to think about that. The "Pope" is a cultural mosh pit of New York wise guys, Irish cops and the most annoying asshole ever -- played, almost too perfectly, by Eric Roberts. It's gritty, fast, noir like in its plot and, if you the knew the time and place, it's just like going back to the street.

...I don't call that success

Paulie's Father
Oh yeah? And what do you call it?

Knowin' how to spend it. I never ordered a Brandy in my life that wasn't Cordon Bleu... I took two-hundred from shylocks, pop, to see Sinatra at the Garden. Sat two seats away from Tony Bennett. That's success!


Makaga said...

I need to check this film out; it looks like a great time capsule of NYC. By the way, does anyone know who that voice-over narrator is? His voice defines so many of the trailers/adverts of that era.

Main Line Sportsman said...

One of my favorites...the book is fairly good as well.
Great dialogue: "You just mailed fifty grand to some Irish retard!?

"....the cheeseman's got him looking like some fag partying on Fire Island"
I could go on and on....and I can watch it over and over.

michael said...

Ha. Sinatra is overrated, but "Summer Wind" is a great song. Go figure.

Oyster Guy said...

Makaga, the voice guy is likely Don LaFontaine; lots a fun stuff about him on youtube.

Tin, I know exactly what you mean about Eric Roberts. I have never been able to separate the actor from the heinous creep he played in Star 80. As for Daryl Hannah, my my my...

Jeff P. said...

A classic, it's been a while, just ordered it from Netflix.

Anonymous said...

$500 off the shylocks